CDC: Opioid overdoses kill nearly 5 people every hour in the US

07 March, 2018, 11:46 | Author: Clint Gray
  • Opioid overdoses seen in hospital emergency rooms are way up. Timely treatment with naloxone can reverse the effects of opioids

It recorded 142,000 overdoses in U.S. hospital emergency departments between July 2016 and September 2017.

Opioid overdose deaths increased by 27.7 percent nationally a year ago, according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday (March 6). "This fast-moving epidemic affects both men and women, and people of every age".

"Long before we receive data from death certificates, emergency department data can point to alarming increases in opioid overdoses", CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat explained in a statement.

"Research shows that people who have had an overdose are more likely to have another".

The CDC's new report urges state health departments to take actions like distributing more naloxone, improving access to drug-assisted addiction therapies and coordinating across state lines to combat the opioid epidemic.

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But the opioid epidemic also fueled increased overdose rates in the West (40 percent), Northeast (21 percent), Southwest (20 percent), and Southeast (14 percent). But one factor is probably the differences in availability of newer, highly potent illegal opioids, such as fentanyl, which have been flooding the country in recent years, Schuchat says.

The CDC said tracking hospital visits was more comprehensive than counting overdose related deaths. But those increases varied dramatically from state to state, even within a region.

In the opioid crisis, physical and mental health issues become tightly intertwined and complicate efforts for policymakers to find resolution, Miller said.

New numbers out Tuesday show America's opioid crisis is getting worse, not better.

Increases in other states across the nation are even more alarming - Wisconsin up 108 percent, Pennsylvania 80 percent, DE nearly 105 percent in suspected overdoses.

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Increase naloxone distribution (an overdose-reversing drug) to first responders, family and friends, and other community members in affected areas, as policies permit.

"We're now seeing the highest overdose death rates ever recorded in the United States".

Opioid overdoses increased for both men and women, across all age groups, and in all regions, though there was some variation by state, with rural and urban differences.

The Midwest experienced a 70 percent increase over that time, a spike that was driven by rises in Wisconsin of 109 percent, IL at 66 percent, and in at 35 percent.

STEIN: Kolodny says the nation needs billions of dollars to provide treatment for the millions of Americans struggling with their addiction.

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"Science is clear: Addiction is a chronic disease and not a moral failing", the doctor said.

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